Death

Famous People Who Died in 1997

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For one reason or another, we as human beings seem to be fascinated by celebrity deaths. Every year we mourn the loss of famous people who pass away, and 1997 was no exception. In fact, 1997 was one of the more infamous years for celebrity deaths. First there was Princess Diana's limousine crash, which shocked the entire world. In the hip hop community, the murder of Notorious BIG was considered one of the most high profile murder cases of all time, as the killer was never found.

Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 1997, ordered by how well-known they were. All walks of famous people are on this list, including actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and more.Although the rich and famous are just like the rest of us, it's alarming how many of them have their lives cut short because of drug overdoses or other accidents. Still others live out many long years only to succumb to diseases like cancer late in life.

Which celebrities died in 1997? Scroll down and see for yourself.
Diana, Princess of Wales... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 36 (1961-1997) from Sandringham, England
Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was a member of the British royal family. She was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, and the mother ...more
Mother Teresa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 87 (1910-1997) from Skopje, Yugoslavia
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, Albanian: [aˈɲɛzə ˈɡɔndʒɛ bɔjaˈdʒiu]; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), commonly known as Mother Teresa and honoured in the Roman ...more
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 89 (1908-1997) from Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America
James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl, ...more
Chris Farley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 33 (1964-1997) from Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Christopher Crosby Farley (February 15, 1964 – December 18, 1997) was an American actor and comedian. Farley was known for his loud, energetic comedic style, and was a member of Chicago's Second ...more
William S. Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 83 (1914-1997) from St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
William Seward Burroughs II (; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American writer and visual artist. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author ...more
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 54 (1943-1997) from USA, Roswell, New Mexico
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, ...more
Gianni Versace is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 51 (1946-1997) from Reggio Calabria, Italy
Giovanni Versace (Italian: [ˈdʒovanni verˈsaːtʃe]; 2 December 1946 – 15 July 1997) was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, an international fashion house that produces ...more
Robert Mitchum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 80 (1917-1997) from USA, Connecticut, Bridgeport
Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 2, 1997) was an American film actor, director, author, poet, composer, and singer. Mitchum rose to prominence for his starring roles in ...more
Allen Ginsberg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 71 (1926-1997) from Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
Irwin Allen Ginsberg (; June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet, philosopher and writer. He is considered to be one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation during the 1950s ...more
Mobutu Sese Seko is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 67 (1930-1997) from Lisala, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga (; born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu; 14 October 1930 – 7 September 1997) was a Congolese politician and military officer who was the military ...more
Red Skelton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 84 (1913-1997) from Vincennes, Indiana, United States of America
Richard Bernard Eheart (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) professionally known as Red Skelton was an American comedy entertainer. He was best known for his national radio and television acts ...more
Burgess Meredith is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 90 (1907-1997) from Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America
Oliver Burgess Meredith (November 16, 1907 – September 9, 1997) was an American actor, director, producer, and writer. Active for more than six decades, Meredith has been called "a ...more
Marshall Applewhite is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 66 (1931-1997) from Spur, Texas
Marshall Herff Applewhite Jr. (May 17, 1931 – March 26, 1997), also known as Do, among other names, was an American cult leader who founded what became known as the Heaven's Gate religious group ...more
The Notorious B.I.G. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 25 (1972-1997) from Clinton Hill, New York City, New York, United States of America
Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), known professionally as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper. He is widely considered to be ...more
Jeff Buckley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 31 (1966-1997) from Anaheim, California, United States of America
Jeffrey Scott Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), raised as Scott Moorhead, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. After a decade as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, ...more
Brian Pillman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 35 (1962-1997) from Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America
Brian William Pillman (May 22, 1962 – October 5, 1997) was an American professional wrestler and professional football player best known for his appearances in Stampede Wrestling in the 1980s ...more
Brian Keith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Brian Keith Dec. at 76 (1921-1997) from Bayonne, New Jersey, United States of America
Brian Keith (born Robert Alba Keith, November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997) was an American film, television and stage actor who in his six-decade-long career gained recognition for his work in ...more
Deng Xiaoping is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 93 (1904-1997) from Guang'an, China
Deng Xiaoping (, also UK: ; courtesy name Xixian; 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997) was a Chinese politician who was the paramount leader of the People's Republic of China from 1978 until his ...more
Bridgette Andersen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 22 (1975-1997) from Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Bridgette Andersen (July 11, 1975 – 1997) was a California-based child actress and child model in American media. She starred in 1982's Savannah Smiles, for which she received her first of four ...more
Anton LaVey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 67 (1930-1997) from Chicago, Illinois
Anton Szandor LaVey (born Howard Stanton Levey; April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) was an American author, musician, and occultist. He was the founder of the Church of Satan and the religion of ...more
Charles Brady is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 71 (1926-1997) from New York City, New York
Charles Brady was a painter who was born and trained in New York and spent most of his life in Ireland. Charles Brady was in the US Navy in World War II; he did mundane jobs after returning from ...more
Fritz Von Erich is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 68 (1929-1997) from Jewett, Texas, United States of America
Jack Barton Adkisson Sr. (August 16, 1929 – September 10, 1997), better known by his ring name Fritz Von Erich, was an American professional wrestler, carnival attraction, wrestling promoter, ...more
James Robert Baker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 51 (1946-1997) from Long Beach, California
James Robert Baker (October 18, 1947 – November 5, 1997) was an American author of sharply satirical, predominantly gay-themed transgressional fiction. A native Californian, his work is set ...more
Linda Stirling is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 76 (1921-1997) from Long Beach, California, United States of America
Linda Stirling (born Louise Schultz, October 11, 1921 – July 20, 1997) was an American showgirl, model, and actress. In her later years, she had a second career as a college English professor ...more
James A. Michener is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1997
Dec. at 90 (1907-1997) from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States of America
James Albert Michener ( or ; February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) was an American author. He wrote more than 40 books, most of which were lengthy, fictional family sagas covering the lives of ...more